Christopher Hays is the D. Wilson Moore Associate Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. He has previously held teaching and research positions at Emory University, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the University of Notre Dame Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem. He has participated in archaeological research in Israel and conducts study trips there.
In 2017-18, Hays is serving as president of the Society of Biblical Literature’s Pacific Coast region.
Hays is the author of Hidden Riches: A Textbook for the Comparative Study of the Old Testament and the Ancient Near East
(Westminster John Knox, 2014) and Death in the Iron Age II and in First Isaiah
(Forschungen zum Alten Testament 79; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011). He is working on the Isaiah commentary for the Old Testament Library series, having translated the book for the Common English Bible and written the entry on Isaiah for the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Books of the Bible
. In 2013, he was one of ten scholars around the world to receive the Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise.
Hays has published articles on diverse topics in journals such as the Journal of Near Eastern Studies
, the Journal of Biblical Literature
, Vetus Testamentum
, Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft
, Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections
, and the Journal of Theological Interpretation
. He has also contributed essays to various edited volumes.
Hays teaches courses in Old Testament and directs the master’s program in Ancient Near Eastern Studies
in the School of Theology. His languages include Hebrew, Akkadian, Ugaritic, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin.
Hays is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
EducationPhD, Emory University
MDiv, Princeton Theological Seminary
BA, Amherst College
Isaiah: A Commentary. Old Testament Library. Westminster John Knox, in preparation.
The Cambridge Companion to Isaiah. Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.
‘Make Peace With Me’: The Josianic Origins of Isaiah 24-27. Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2018.
An Ugaritic Handbook: Paradigms, Vocalization Helps, and Select Bibliography (with Brent A. Strawn, Joel M. LeMon). Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, in preparation.
A Covenant With Death: Death in the Iron Age II and its Rhetorical Uses in Proto-Isaiah. Eerdmans, 2015. (Corrected, paperback republication of Death in the Iron Age II and in First Isaiah.)
Hidden Riches: A Sourcebook for the Comparative Study of the Old Testament and the Ancient Near East. Westminster John Knox, 2014.
Death in the Iron Age II and in First Isaiah. Forschungen zum Alten Testament 79. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011.
Articles in peer-reviewed journals
“ ‘Those Weaned From Milk’: The Divine Wet Nurse Motif in the Ceremony of the Covenant with Mut (Isa 28),” Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel (2017), forthcoming.
“From Propaganda to Apocalypse: An Empirical Model for the Formation of Isaiah 24-27,” Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel (2017), forthcoming.
“ ‘There Is Hope for a Tree’: Job’s Hope for the Afterlife in the Light of Egyptian Tree Imagery,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 77 (2015): 42-68.
“ ‘My Beloved Son, Come and Rest in Me’: Job’s Return to His Mother’s Womb (Job 1:21a) in Light of Egyptian Mythology,” Vetus Testamentum 62 (2012): 607-21.
“The Egyptian Goddess Mut in Iron-Age Palestine: Further Data From Amulets and Onomastics.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 71 (2012): 299-314.
“An Egyptian Loanword in the Book of Isaiah and the Deir ʿAlla Inscription: Heb. nṣr, Aram. nqr and Eg. nṯr as ‘[Divinized] Corpse,’” Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 4 (2012): 17-23.
“The Book of Isaiah in Contemporary Research.” Religion Compass 5 (2011): 549-66.
“Re-Excavating Shebna’s Tomb: A New Reading of Isa 22:15–19 in its Ancient Near Eastern Context,” Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 122 (2010): 558-75.
“Bard Called the Tune: Whither Theological Exegesis in the Post-Childs Era?” Journal of Theological Interpretation 4 (2010): 139-52.
“The Covenant with Mut: A New Interpretation of Isaiah 28:1-22.” Vetus Testamentum 60 (2010): 212-40.
“What Sort of Friends?: A New Proposal Regardingרפאי(ם) and טפלי(ם) in Job 13:4.” Biblica 90 (2009): 394-99.
“The Dead and Their Images: An Egyptian Etymology for Hebrew ʾôb” (first author, with Joel M. LeMon), Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 1 (2009): 1-4.
“Damming Egypt / Damning Egypt: The Paronomasia of skr and the Unity of Isa 19:1-15.” Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 120 (2008): 612-16.
“The Silence of the Wives: Bakhtin’s Monologism and Ezra 7-10.” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 33 (2008): 59-80.
“Chirps From the Dust: The Affliction of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4:30 in Its Ancient Near Eastern Context.” Journal of Biblical Literature 126 (2007): 303-23.
“ ‘Lest Ye Perish in the Way’: Ritual and Kinship in Exodus 4:24-26.” Hebrew Studies 48 (2007): 237-252.
“Kirtu and the ‘Yoke of the Poor’: A New Interpretation of an Old Crux (KTU 1.16 VI:48).” Ugarit-Forschungen 37 (2005): 361-370.
“How Shall We Sing?: Psalm 137 in Historical and Canonical Context.” Horizons in Biblical Theology 27.2 (December 2005): 35-55.
“ ‘Blessed Be Egypt My People’: Karl Barth and the Election of the Outsider in the Old Testament.” Princeton Theological Review 10 (2003): 30-41.
Articles in edited volumes
“Death, Burial, and Mourning in the Iron Age Levant,” in Behind the Scenes of the Old Testament: Cultural, Social, and Historical Contexts of Ancient Israel. Edited by Jonathan S. Greer, John W. Hilber, and John H. Walton. Baker Academic, 2018.
“Assyria,” (first author, with Peter Machinist) in The World Around the Old Testament, Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2016.
“A Story Told Backwards: Daniel’s Apocalypse,” in Apocalypses in Context: Apocalyptic Currents Throughout History. Edited by Kelly J. Murphy and Justin P. Jeffcoat Schedtler; Fortress Press, 2016.
“Revelation, Interpretation, Combat, and Judgment: ‘Proto-Apocalyptic’ Constellations in the Bible and the Ancient Near East” in Apocalypses in Context: Apocalyptic Currents Throughout History. Edited by Kelly J. Murphy and Justin P. Jeffcoat Schedtler; Fortress Press, 2016.
“ ‘Held in Slavery by the Fear of Death’: Ancient Hero Cults and the Old Testament Gospel,” pages 49-62 in Robert D. Miller, II, ed., Between Israelite Religion and Old Testament Theology: Essays on Archaeology, History, and Hermeneutics. Contributions to Biblical Exegesis and Theology 80. Leuven: Peeters, 2016.
“Claims About Solomon’s Empire in Light of Egyptian Royal Ideology of Territory.” Pages 503-15 in Israel’s Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective: Text, Archaeology, Culture, and Geoscience. Edited by Thomas E. Levy, Thomas Schneider and William H.C. Propp. Quantitative Methods in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Springer: 2014.
“The Date and Message of Isaiah 24-27 in Light of Hebrew Diachrony,” Pages 7-24 in Intertextuality and Formation of Isaiah 24-27. Ancient Israel and Its Literature. Edited by J. Todd Hibbard and Paul Kim. Atlanta: SBL, 2013.
“Isaiah as ‘Colonized Poet’: The Rhetoric of Death in Resistance Literature.” Pages 51-70 in Isaiah and Imperial Context: The Book of Isaiah in Times of Empire. Edited by Mark G. Brett, Andrew Abernethy, Tim Bulkeley, and Tim Meadowcroft. Eugene, Or.: Pickwick Publications, 2013.
“ ‘You Destroy a Person’s Hope’: Job as a Conversation About Death.” Pages 219-233 in Reading Job Intertextually. Edited by Katharine Dell and Will Kynes. Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies 574. London: T&T Clark, 2012.
“Religio-Historical Approaches: Monotheism, Method, and Mortality.” Pages 169-93 in Method Matters: Essays on the Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Honor of David L. Petersen. Edited by Joel M. LeMon and Kent H. Richards. Atlanta: SBL, 2009.
“Echoes of the Ancient Near East?: Intertextuality and the Comparative Study of the Old Testament.” Pages 20-43 in The Word Leaps the Gap: Essays on Scripture and Theology in Honor of Richard B. Hays. Edited by J. Ross Wagner, C. Kavin Rowe, and A. Katherine Grieb. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2009.
Upcoming Talks and Conferences“ ‘Those Weaned From Milk’: Isaiah 28’s Rituals for the Covenant with Mut In Light of Rituals at Thebes, Mari, and Tayinat,” 2017 Annual SBL Meeting, Boston, MA, November 20, 2017.
“Hebrew Diachrony and Linguistic Dating in the Book of Isaiah,” 2017 Annual SBL Meeting, Boston, MA, November 20, 2017.
Panelist, review panel on Izaak J. de Hulster, Brent A. Strawn, Ryan P. Bonfiglio, Iconographic Exegesis of the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament: An Introduction to Its Method and Practice (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015), 2017 International SBL Meeting, Berlin, August 2017.
MembershipsSociety of Biblical Literature
American Schools of Oriental Research
American Oriental Society
International Association for Assyriology
National Association of Professors of Hebrew
Catholic Biblical Association
North American Society of Early-Career Theologians (N-SECT), Founding member